Monday, October 16, 2017

Cecil Cooper in My Collection

Cecil Cooper is a player I remember from the 80s from league leader cards.  I always remember him playing with the Brewers, which was a team we didn't see much of in the 80s.  We followed the NL almost exclusively (living closest to the Phillies), and the Brewers were in the AL back then.
1974 Topps Cecil Cooper.
Although I remember him from the Brewers, Cooper started out with the Red Sox.  He was with Boston 1971-1976, and then with Milwaukee the rest of his career, 1977-1987.  According to Wikipedia, after being traded to Milwaukee, he altered his batting stance, leading to better results with the Brewers (.302 average over 11 seasons) than with the Red Sox (.283 average over 6 seasons).
1978 Topps Cecil Cooper.
1979 Topps Cecil Cooper.
My next cards of him are the 1978 and 1979 Topps cards, after he was traded to the Brewers.  Cooper was an All-Star five times with the Brewers, starting with 1979.  He led the league in various categories over the years while maintaining high batting averages.
1981 Topps RBI Leaders.
1984 Topps RBI Leaders.
You clearly see with these RBI leader cards that I'm not great at scanning.  It's somehow hard for me to always get the cards straight when they're on the scan bed.  I think I've improved at this, but I scanned these Cecil Cooper cards a while ago.  If you ignore the crookedness, you see that Cooper led the AL in RBI in 1980 and in 1983 (tied with Jim Rice in 1983).  The NL was led by Mike Schmidt in 1980, so the 1981 card now lives in my Schmidt player collection.
1986 Donruss cutout box bottom Cecil Cooper.
I don't know how Baseball-reference does its similarity scores for batters, but it rates Cooper as being most similar to Don Mattingly, Wally Joyner, Will Clark, Hal McRae, Kirby Puckett, and Keith Hernandez.   While there's only one Hall-of-Famer in that list, it's certainly good company to be in.
1987 Topps Highlights/Woolworth Cecil Cooper.
Something he has in common with Mattingly, Joyner, Clark, McRae, Puckett, and Hernandez is that they all amassed between 2000 and 2400 career hits (Puckett has the most among them, with 2,304, and Joyner has the least with 2,060).  This card, which I did show once before, is from the 1987 Topps Highlights/Woolworth set, commemorating Cooper's 2000th hit.
1981 Topps Super of Cecil Cooper.
It's out of chronological order, but I'll close with this 1981 Topps Super.  I have a handful of them, and will make a couple of posts with the rest of the ones I have in the next few weeks.  They're nice overall, but they do need to be stored separately because they're so much bigger.  I keep them with my Donruss All-Stars from 1987 and before, my Phillies team-issued oversized cards, and a few other larger odds and ends.

To sum up Cecil Cooper's career: over his career, Cooper received two Gold Gloves at first base, three Silver Sluggers, the Roberto Clemente Award, and joined the 2000-hit club.  He's in the Brewers Walk of Fame and the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.

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